Black Women of Brazil

The site dedicated to Brazilian women of African descent

Singer Iza talks about female empowerment and the representation of the black woman


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Singer Izi appears on the soundtrack of Globo TV’s 7pm novela ‘Rock Story’ (photo: Pedrita Junckes)

Note from BW of Brazil: We first introduced you to singer Iza several months ago. The carioca (native of Rio de Janeiro) had been making a name for herself recording cover versions of American-based artists and sharing her talent on YouTube. Well it seems that her talent and persistence is beginning to pay off. The beauty recently recorded a song for the Globo TV network novela Rock Story and followed it up with an appearance on the Globo morning TV talk show Encontro com Fátima Bernardes.

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Iza found success on the internet singing pop music hits

Who knows what success may be in store for Isabela Lima (Iza) because, as we’ve seen, nowadays the internet can take someone from unknown to superstar status in a relatively short period of time (see Ludmilla, for example). So if she goes on to become the next big Brazilian pop sensation following in the footsteps of Anitta and Ludmilla, remember, you probably heard about her here first! I just hope she doesn’t feel the necessity of altering her appearance to get that success as was the case of the aforementioned two artists (see here and here) and so many other Brazilian female singers. 

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Iza talks about female empowerment and the representativeness of the black woman

“If I had could hear someone on the TV saying kinky/curly hair is beautiful, I might not have straightened mine until I was 20,” says the singer, a success on the Rock Story track.

By Mateus Almeida

With a degree in Advertising and Propaganda, Iza saw her life change by uploading a video of her on the web singing and everything started to make sense. Accustomed to singing and choreographing to perform at family parties, the singer has seen her name grow even more, since she became part of the soundtrack of the 7pm Globo TV novela, Rock Story, with the song “Quem sabe sou eu” (who knows is me).

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Iza left her career as a video editor to dedicate herself to singing (Photo: Predita Junckes)

“I’m living in a very special time, we need to take advantage of the potential the internet has to communicate. It’s fundamental to getting my message to as many people as possible at one time, I think I’m very blessed to have been born in this time and for being able to release something of mine, without necessarily needing a big investment. And with that I understood that I can touch people with my music and my voice,” she analyzes.

It’s in the verses of her single – “Abre o olho eu tô na moda e quem manda em mim sou eu” (Open your eyes I’m in fashion and the one who directs me is me) – that Iza reinforces her identity. And this is what she wants to awaken in people: the notion of who you are and what to do to change your reality.

IZA – “Quem Sabe Sou Eu” (Live)

“Self love, respect and empowerment. And when I say self love this is an exaltation of what black is. When I say black, there are a lot of people who say ‘wow, but you’re so strong, you can influence so many people’, and of course I can. Mas ainda sou uma menina negra da Zona Norte do Rio (But I’m still a black girl from the North Zone of Rio), so that’s the reality I bring,” she completes.

Girl. Black. North Zone. These are her characteristics that Iza wants to emphasize wherever she goes. And her goal is that many other women, blacks and people who identify with her are at her side.

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“I need to talk about these issues because I’m not in front of the cameras and speaking with various different media just to entertain, to have fun…This is also nice, but I have a mission. There are several ‘minas’ negras (black girls) that wanted to be in my place and I carry them with me. There is also the issue of representativeness: people need to see themselves on TV, in the novelas (soap operas), in the music, in the toys they buy,” she opines.

“We go through a lot of things in adolescence and childhood that are softened up when we see someone like us on TV, because I think of the black girl that I was and how important it was to hear things that I say today. If I would have heard someone on TV saying that cabelo crespo (kinky/curly hair) is beautiful, maybe I wouldn’t have straightened mine until I was 20 years old.”

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Iza: ‘I am a black girl from the North Zone’ (Photo: Pedrita Junckes)

But for Iza, reality has changed over time. “I feel more and more represented. We are living a very special moment, walking, crawling. There is still a lot lacking, but it’s a moment of consciousness-raising. There are several companies that take advantage of this to make money, this has always happened, but even if it’s harmful on the one hand, it’s important on the other,” she declares.

“Seeing myself in a commercial for curls, for cabelo crespo is a very important thing. We have black actresses and singers, but I think there’s still a lack of many blacks in important roles behind the cameras, such as directors, assistant directors, chief directors…Not just in the music scene, you know? There are several other areas that are lacking, so we’re crawling.”

Source: Ego

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